Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Writing and Literature

  • NFQ Level 8
  • Points Required 308*
  • Course Code AU929
  • Award Honours Degree Abinitio
  • Duration 3

Course Summary

This programme focuses on developing skills in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, screenwriting, playwriting, cultural journalism and other forms. Coursework is anchored by a focus on the processes of creative and critical writing along with a detailed study of literature, drama and film. The programme is delivered through interactive workshops, seminars and field trips. Visiting lecturers include novelists, poets, screenwriters, playwrights, podcasters, journalists, editors, agents and publishers.


Students develop a portfolio of writing over the three years working across different genres/media and work on a diverse range of creative projects, including short films, podcasts and documentaries. Writing practice is bolstered by the study of literature. We aim to expose students to different forms of creative texts, offering the space for them to explore and discover their own creative voice and forms. Throughout the programme students are encouraged to attend writing festivals, readings (both online and live), workshops and interactive sessions with guest writers.

Students are given a foundation in literature, drama and writing practice, including digital media. The writing and practice modules focus on writing basics and short-form writing. 

Students work on playwriting, screenwriting, poetry and writing for television and explore the major literary and cultural movements of the 20th century and their impact on the development of narrative forms.

In the final year, students focus on building a significant portfolio of original work undertaken in close consultation with staff mentors. Modules in nonfiction and contemporary Irish writing offer insight into current literary practices. Visits from agents, publishers and editors and practical workshops in teaching/ facilitation give students a varied set of skills for professional practice.

“This degree is a milestone for Sligo and the North West” - Dr. Una Mannion, published author and recent winner of the Hennessy New Irish Writing Prize for poetry.

“We have such a rich cultural and literary legacy in this region. Storytelling is part of who we are, and it is recognised as an invaluable skill, integral to both creative and professional industries. “

“What makes this programme unique is the support and one-to-one feedback students receive from writing and creative practitioners,” - Tommy Weir teaches digital storytelling and video production on this programme.

“Not only are graduates effective writers, they also have a skill set that readily transfers to other professional disciplines where clear communication and coherent, critical thinking are valued.”

The programme also builds on and links with the existing creative strands at ATU Sligo in areas such as the Performing Arts.

“Our graduates are collaborators, self-editors and critical thinkers who have had the opportunity to have their work realised on the page and performed on stage and film" - Dr Rhona Trench, Programme Chair of Performing Arts at ATU Sligo.

”The Writing and Literature is applied and tailored to the writing interests and developing expertise of each student.”

Entry Requirements

Entry requirements for CAO courses at ATU Sligo are available for download below:

There is no portfolio requirement to study the BA (Hons) in Writing and Literature.

Maths is not an entry requirement for this degree.

Career Opportunities

Graduates work as writers and may pursue careers in publishing, public relations, education, journalism, arts management, communication, film, television and new media, the theatre, marketing, cultural tourism and event promotion.

Graduates may also pursue advanced degrees in English literature, creative writing, journalism, publishing, fine art practice, critical studies, and library science.

Graduates may also undertake a Professional Master of Education (PME) to become a secondary school teacher of English.

Further Study

Graduates may progress to a number of postgraduate degrees in Ireland and abroad including MA’s in Creative Writing, Journalism, English Literature, Drama and Theatre Studies, and Publishing. Other potential progression routes include postgraduate work in community arts and literary tourism.

Graduates may also undertake a Professional Master of Education (PME) to become a secondary school teacher of English.


Hear what some of our students have to say about studying the BA (Hons) in Writing and Literature at ATU Sligo.

Did you know?

This programme is taught by established, award winning writers. Dr. Una Mannion is a published author and a recent winner of the Hennessy New Irish Writing Prize for poetry. Una released her debut novel A Crooked Tree in 2021. Lecturer Alice Lyons also released her debut novel Oona in 2021.

Final year YAADA students take part in a creative showcase each year. Check out the Yeats Academy of Arts, Design and Architecture Yearbook to see their work.

This programme is aligned to Teaching Council requirements for English at second level. Graduates may progress to and complete a Professional Master of Education (PME) in order to teach English at post-primary level.

Mathematics is not an entry requirement for this degree.

This programme is also offered fully online, facilitating wider access to this creative programme. All lectures are delivered live online and students can fully participate in group work and project work by means of innovative online supports. To view the online programme please follow this link AU930 BA (Hons) Writing and Literature (Online)


"I think the best thing about the degree is that it covers a wide range of subjects. The opportunity to learn from working professionals with a wealth of experience was also a privilege, picking their brains is a must! The degree is also not heavily exam-focused, which was a bonus. The continual assessment aspect was really beneficial and meant you had the space to experiment with your writing style. I also enjoyed how the degree allowed you to be creative and imaginative throughout your studies.

After completing the BA (Hons) in Writing and Literature at ATU Sligo, I then went on to University of Galway to study a MA in Journalism. I now work as a Fast News Reporter with the Irish Independent."

Seoirse Mulgrew, BA (Hons) in Writing and Literature graduate and now a Journalist with the Irish Independent

"I think it is the only programme that focuses on writing in English as a creative process, rather than an academic subject, so for the more artistically inclined people, it stands out. This programme gave me great confidence in the field after just one year of study"

Blaithin Ryan, BA (Hons) in Writing and Literature graduate